Tonight in news that’s shocking to no one, cops lie. Wild, I know.
CNN reports that 20 officers are currently facing investigation as a result of falsely labeling people as gang members. The Root wrote about this earlier this month, reporting that the investigation initially began when last year a citizen in San Fernando Valley reported that her son had been misidentified as a gang member. According to LAPD Officer Mike Lopez, the inaccurate labeling was part of an effort to increase traffic stop statistics.
So far, the investigation has shown that up to 20 officers have provided “inconsistencies in information,” with 10 having been suspended or made inactive. For several months internal investigators have looked over body camera footage and reviewed field interview cards completed by multiple officers. The investigation has uncovered several discrepancies with an LAPD source telling CNN that some of the cards were “blatantly inaccurate.” The same source would go on to say, “Lying intentionally is a death knell to someone’s career but more importantly it negatively impacts the reputation of our department.”
This is such a weird abuse of power. Lying to increase traffic stop statistics? Given that black people were 28 percent of police stops while only making up 9 percent of L.A’s population I just figured their numbers would be fine. While I appreciate the transparency of this case so far, it’s still unsettling. If these officers were willing to lie over traffic stop numbers, who knows what else they could be lying about. LAPD already has a fairly shaky reputation, things like this only exacerbate the problem.